View synonyms for service



[ sur-vis ]


  1. an act of helpful activity; help; aid:

    to do someone a service.

  2. the supplying or supplier of utilities or commodities, as water, electricity, or gas, required or demanded by the public.
  3. the providing or a provider of accommodation and activities required by the public, as maintenance, repair, etc.:

    The manufacturer guarantees service and parts.

  4. the organized system of apparatus, appliances, employees, etc., for supplying some accommodation required by the public:

    a television repair service.

  5. the supplying or a supplier of public communication and transportation: bus service.

    telephone service;

    bus service.

  6. the performance of duties or the duties performed as or by a waiter or servant; occupation or employment as a waiter or servant.
  7. employment in any duties or work for a person, organization, government, etc.
  8. a department of public employment, an administrative division of a government, or the body of public servants in it:

    the diplomatic service.

  9. the duty or work of public servants.
  10. the serving of a sovereign, state, or government in some official capacity.
  11. Military.
    1. the armed forces:

      in the service.

    2. a branch of the armed forces, as the army or navy:

      Which service were you in during the war?

  12. Ordnance. the actions required in loading and firing a cannon:

    service of the piece.

  13. Often services. the performance of any duties or work for another; helpful or professional activity:

    medical services.

  14. something made or done by a commercial organization for the public benefit and without regard to direct profit:

    Certain books are published at a loss as a public service.

  15. Also called divine service. public religious worship according to prescribed form and order.
  16. a ritual or form prescribed for public worship or for some particular occasion:

    the marriage service.

  17. the serving of God by obedience, piety, etc.:

    voluntary service.

  18. a musical setting of the sung portions of a liturgy.
  19. a set of dishes, utensils, etc., for general table use or for particular use:

    a tea service;

    service for eight.

  20. Law. the serving of a process or writ upon a person.
  21. Nautical. tarred spun yarn or other small stuff for covering the exterior of a rope.
  22. (in tennis, badminton, handball, etc.)
    1. the act or manner of putting the ball or shuttlecock into play; serve.
    2. the ball or shuttlecock as put into play.
  23. the mating of a female animal with the male.


  1. of service; useful.
  2. of, relating to, or used by servants, delivery people, etc., or in serving food:

    service stairs;

    the service pieces in a set of dishes.

  3. supplying aids or services rather than products or goods:

    Medicine is one of the service professions.

  4. supplying maintenance and repair:

    He operates a service center for electrical appliances.

  5. of, for, or pertaining to the armed forces of a country or one of them:

    a service academy.

  6. charged for providing service:

    a service fee of 15 percent on the restaurant check.

  7. providing, authorizing, or guaranteeing service: a service contract.

    a service industry;

    a service contract.

verb (used with object)

, serv·iced, serv·ic·ing.
  1. to make fit for use; repair; restore to condition for service:

    to service an automobile.

  2. to supply with aid, information, or other incidental services.
  3. (of a male animal) to mate with (a female animal).
  4. Finance. to pay off (a debt) over a period of time, as by meeting periodic interest payments.



[ sur-vis ]


  1. a European or North American service tree, especially Sorbus domestica.



[ sur-vis ]


  1. Robert W(illiam), 1874–1958, Canadian writer, born in England.



/ ˈsɜːvɪs /


  1. an act of help or assistance
  2. an organized system of labour and material aids used to supply the needs of the public

    bus service

    telephone service

  3. the supply, installation, or maintenance of goods carried out by a dealer
  4. the state of availability for use by the public (esp in the phrases into or out of service )
  5. a periodic overhaul made on a car, machine, etc
  6. the act or manner of serving guests, customers, etc, in a shop, hotel, restaurant, etc
  7. a department of public employment and its employees

    civil service

  8. employment in or performance of work for another

    he has been in the service of our firm for ten years

  9. the work of a public servant
    1. one of the branches of the armed forces
    2. ( as modifier )

      service life

  10. the state, position, or duties of a domestic servant (esp in the phrase in service )
  11. the act or manner of serving food
  12. a complete set of dishes, cups, etc, for use at table
  13. public worship carried out according to certain prescribed forms

    divine service

  14. the prescribed form according to which a specific kind of religious ceremony is to be carried out

    the burial service

  15. a unified collection of musical settings of the canticles and other liturgical items prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer as used in the Church of England
  16. sport
    1. the act, manner, or right of serving a ball
    2. the game in which a particular player serves Often shortened toserve

      he has lost his service

  17. (in feudal law) the duty owed by a tenant to his lord
  18. the serving of a writ, summons, etc, upon a person
  19. nautical a length of tarred marline or small stuff used in serving
  20. (of male animals) the act of mating
  21. modifier of, relating to, or for the use of servants or employees
  22. modifier serving the public rather than producing goods


  1. to provide service or services
  2. to make fit for use
  3. to supply with assistance
  4. to overhaul (a car, machine, etc)
  5. (of a male animal) to mate with (a female)
  6. to meet interest and capital payments on (debt)



/ ˈsɜːvɪs /




/ 'sɜːvɪs /


  1. ServiceRobert18741958MCanadianWRITING: poetWRITING: writer Robert ( William ). 1874–1958, Canadian poet, born in England; noted for his ballad-like poems of gold-rush era Yukon, such as 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew'; his books include Songs of a Sourdough (1907)

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Other Words From

  • un·serviced adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of service1

First recorded before 1100; Middle English (noun), from Old French, from Latin servitium “servitude,” equivalent to serv(us) “slave” + -itium noun suffix ( -ice ); replacing Middle English servise, late Old English serfise “ceremony,” from Old French servise, variant of service

Origin of service2

First recorded in 1520–30; earlier serves, plural of obsolete serve “service tree”; Middle English; Old English syrfe, from unattested Vulgar Latin sorbea, derivative of Latin sorbus sorb 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of service1

C12 servise, from Old French, from Latin servitium condition of a slave, from servus a slave

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. at someone's service, ready to be of help or use to someone; at one's disposal:

    You will have an English-speaking guide at your service.

  2. be of service, to be helpful or useful:

    If we can be of service, do not hesitate to call.

More idioms and phrases containing service

see at someone's service ; break someone's serve (service) ; lip service ; of service to someone ; press into service .

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Example Sentences

Yazbek tells The Daily Beast that the traffickers guarantee their service, and they treat the Syrian refugees with respect.

Like any service for hire, it is extremely important for the traffickers to provide a reputable service, criminal as it is.

Henri Paul actually worked for the French Secret Service and he had €200,000 in his account when he only earned €30,000 a year.

A soldier in the service of ideals and aspirations that formed his core.

As zealots poured in from Arkansas and Mississippi, a wire service reporter got punched in the ribs.

The proceedings of the day commenced with divine service, performed by Unitarian and Baptist ministers.

The badness of the gunpowder used by the Mexicans, was again of great service to us.

For this use of the voice in the special service of will-power, or propelling force, it is necessary first to test its freedom.

He began his military career at the age of 11, and continued in the service nearly 60 years.

And now, monsieur, if you will communicate to me the nature of your affair, you shall find me entirely at your service.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.